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III. the shadow of the harem.

We sometimes hear surprise expressed that woman has contributed so little to the masterpieces of the world in science, art, literature. To me the wonder is always the other way — that she has produced anything in that direction at all; and this for the plain reason that the shadow of repression, which is the bequest of the Oriental harem, still hangs over her. That she has always been at a great disadvantage in training or education is also true, but it is a secondary matter. The real disadvantage of women has lain in being systematically taught from childhood up that it is their highest duty to efface themselves, or at least keep out of sight. One can overcome great obstacles as to education, but to do anything remarkable without running the risk of being conspicuous-this would puzzle the most skilful. Fame is the shadow of great action. Now nobody but Peter Schlemihl ever succeeded in living without his shadow, and it is not recorded that even he enjoyed that situation.

It would be easy to show by a long series of examples

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Peter Schlemihl (1)
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